Chairman of the Maritime Workers Union (MDU) David Songotu as described as a bad deal, the decision by government to hand over the construction of a new free port at Atuabo.
Mr. Songotu further described the deal as “dangerous to the development”.
He said investors, Lornhro Ports Limited and Atuabo Freeport Ghana Limited are foreign companies and should not be allowed to undertake the US$600 million project in the country.
Speaking on Adom FMs ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Wednesday, Mr Songotu said the contract will give Lonrho Ports exclusive rights to provide specialised services for the oil and gas industry in the Western Region, and this constitutes a breach of the law.
The Atuabo project is expected to deliver an airstrip and a helipad to facilitate aircraft and helicopter transportations, as well as other infrastructure like power generation, boreholes, accommodation, offices, a naval base, hydrocarbon fuel storage area and roads.
Clause three of the agreement between Lornhro and government of Ghana grants them the right among other rights to develop a Freeport, build berths at the Freeport, develop facilities and render services such as berthing, stevedoring services and provide services which they deem relevant for the operation of the Freeport.
But Mr Songotu said that, giving exclusive rights to the two companies to construct a port will undermine the role Ghana Ports Authority plays in the management of the ports.
He said a clause in the agreement which allows tax exemptions for up to 25 years and renewable for another 25 years is unfair to government institutions who can run the same service and generate revenue for the country.
According to him government will not be able to monitor operations at the port and regulate what goes in and out of the country.
He explained that, operators of the private organization will lose concentration in monitoring what goes on at the port because, they will be more interested in making profit at the expense of government.
Security agencies will “lose total control of the port and the private companies will manipulate operations at the port, he noted.
He said the MDU will file a joinder suit to the suit filed by some five Members of Parliament praying a court to prevent Lornhro from undertaking the project.
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